Graeme Johnston’s (@GraemeJ_83) back in the saddle to provide us with the best bets from Saturday’s racing.
Newbury | Saturday 14.00 | Channel 4
Due to the soft ground this has unfortunately become a four-runner race but it’s still an interesting betting proposition. There are two colts and two fillies in the field and the betting indicates the colts will dominate and I agree. But which one will come out on top?
Palawan and Twin Sails have met before in a Group 2 at Goodwood with Palawan finishing a nose ahead of his rival in third. That was a messy race and neither of them had the run of the race that day. On that form, there is very little between them but I’m fairly confident that will be turned around here.
Palawan from the Richard Hannon yard has run five times, winning once in a Salisbury maiden. He’s started favourite on three occasions and prior to the Goodwood race, he was beginning to look a little disappointing. I’m not convinced he is entirely straightforward and I don’t think a four-runner field on soft ground will see any improvement.
Twin Sails won on debut at today’s course where he returned a 28/1 winner. He showed that performance was no fluke when winning a Salisbury race over six furlongs where he was well in command at the end. Last time out at Goodwood he was slowly away before running on late to grab fourth. His slow starts (which have happened in his last two races) are a concern, but in a four-runner race with no obvious early pace, he shouldn’t be too badly effected if this happens again.
He has won over six furlongs, has the stamina for seven and looks a straightforward colt. He looks the most solid betting proposition in this race at 13/8 (Bet365).
Newbury | Saturday 14.35 | Channel 4
The Geoffrey Freer stakes is here and at the time of writing there are seven runners and there’s one in the field who looks head and shoulders above his rivals, to me. There is no shortage of Group race experience but Romsdal has the strongest form in the book this season.
Placed in the Derby and St Ledger last season he never managed to get the big race win his form deserved. In fact, despite his form last season all he had to show for himself was a maiden win at Kempton.
He returned this season with a convincing listed win at Kempton before coming third to Arab Spring at Newbury before coming fourth in a very hot looking Yorkshire Cup. On his final start he lined up in the King George and ran arguably the race of his life to come third.
He seemed really at home on the rain-softened ground and ran like a horse that would appreciate a step up in trip. This is a great opportunity for Romsdal to get the Group race that his form deserves and I think the 9/4 (BetBright) on offer for him here is great value.
Newbury | Saturday 15.45 | Channel 4
The Hungerford Stakes is one of the few races during the season where seven-furlong specialists get a chance to race at Group 2 level and it’s attracted a big field. Unfortunately with the softer ground it’s going to make it more of a stamina test than some of these would appreciate and it’s a tough race to unlock.
I say it’s a tough race to unlock but after looking through the field there is one who looks like seven furlongs here on soft ground is perfect for.
Here Comes When has run four times this season without getting his head in front but his form looks like the best on offer. On his first start of the season he travelled like the best horse in the race in the Bet365 Mile before being out stayed by Custom Cut.
He was beaten less than three lengths in the Lockinge Stakes before disappointing in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot. His season was beginning to look a little disappointing before he bounced back with a solid race behind Solow in the Sussex Stakes.
He’s always shaped like seven-furlong horse to me and he has Group 2 winning form from last season on soft ground. He seems a far better horse on an easier surface and this looks an ideal opportunity to get his head back in front. The 7/2 (888 Sport) available for him here makes him a standout bet.
14.00 Newbury – Twin Sails (13/8 Bet365)
14.35 Newbury – Romsdal (9/4 BetBright)
15,45 Newbury – Here Comes When (7/2 888 Sport)
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